Moving is never easy, but for baby boomers heading into the next phase of life it can come with all sorts of additional physical, mental and emotional complications. If you’re transitioning from the home where you raised your kids to a smaller place that’s easier to maintain, you must pour through decades of memories to pack up the house. And leaving the workforce on top of all that change can be absolutely exhausting. But even if things are not so drastic, and you’re just relocating for work or scaling back to a part-time or consulting position that allows you to embrace a bit of rest and relaxation you’ll still have a ton of work ahead. Here are five of the top relocation tips for baby boomers.
First off, start early so the process is as painless as possible. You’ll need to take an entire inventory of your home and everything must either be packed or thrown out. Give yourself as much time as you can to work through that process. You may end up spending an entire afternoon going through a photo album when you thought you’d already be done with the basement. This is a big change and you must allow yourself that time. But if you’re up against a tight deadline you won’t have that luxury. Start early and make sure you have adequate assistance.
Now is also the perfect time to scale back on your possessions. People gather so much stuff over the years, and chances are much of it hasn’t been useful for as long as you remember. So cut back significantly. Keep what is sentimental or irreplaceable, but after that sell or give things away liberally. If you haven’t used it for a year, it can go. It will help give you a fresh start in your next home, while also saving you on moving costs.
Beyond just cutting down on the clutter, also consider your changing lifestyle and living situation. Many boomers who relocate move into a smaller, more manageable space. That means you might no longer have that extra sitting room, garage or additional guest room you need to fill. Perhaps you’re transitioning into an apartment and you’ll be traveling most of the time. Or maybe you will continue to work from home and need a well-appointed office. Let your new circumstances dictate what will stay and what will go.
Regardless of the mental and emotional hoops you jump through during this process, remember your physical limitations. You can’t be carrying dressers down the stairs by yourself anymore, even if you think you can. Before the day of the move have your children help you set up staging areas so you can easily organize and pack without a lot of heavy lifting. And definitely hire a moving company to handle everything on relocation day. It’s going to be tough to enjoy learning your new neighborhood if you’re in bed with back trouble.
And when it comes to that new neighborhood, take the time to explore. Your last move probably had something to do with proximity to work or quality of the school district, both of which offered easy communities to connect with. Things are different now, and you’ll have to find your niche. Check out areavibes.com before you arrive to get a sense of your new location. Find some great restaurants, look for a community center and sort out the best shopping locations well in advance so you show up with a bit of a pre-existing comfort level. It won’t necessarily remove your nervousness, but it will help you get over it faster.